Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and other protected areas around it are vital lifelines and are crucial to safeguard Mumbai’s water security. But this is hardly known to the population of Mumbai. With the management of SGNP, we have launched an extensive, multi-faceted outreach campaign to increase public awareness and win public support for SGNP.
In spite of all the benefits and potentials the SGNP holds for Mumbai's urban population, it is also at a constant tussle with the city which is growing in leaps and bounds and presenting conservation problems of enormous proportions to the forest. Land grab, human-leopard conflict, developmental aspirations of the city are some major conservation challenges that threaten the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Public outreach campaign using the social media, involving citizens as volunteers in day to day park management activities, sensitising key enforcement agencies about the issues and the roles they can play, stream lining tourism to facilitate public appreciation and support.
- Engagement through the social media (esp. facebook) has generated considerable interest and participation. The challenge here is to make the campaign dynamic and pervasive so as to reach out to a maximum number of people.
- People like to be involved in on ground activities and smart public engagement strategies have to be worked out.
The campaign was initiated only a couple of years ago and it is too early to measure an impact, but to speak of numbers: the Facebook page launched in August 2014 has now been supported by 5000+ people.